Tastes

dhsilv2

Making the whisky transition from begginer to intermediate whisky drinker.

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  1. Compass Box Menagerie

    Blended Malt — Scotland

    Tasted April 18, 2021
    2.5
    2.5 out of 5 stars
    Another day another compass box. Nose - So right off the bat, I get compass box's sweet fruity malt profile. I know they change up everything always but they don't. They are really big fans of fruity with a hint of oak and it's here. I get some earthy and funky notes but they're subtle and easy to dismiss without knowing what's in this one. More time in the glass and sherry notes start to sneak out, softly and subtly. Vanilla cream and a light hint of pork to top things off. Taste - Pineapple pear citrus with waxy vanilla and dirty salty pork shoulder. Some earthy elements from peated scotch meets some meaty and savory elements with an overwhelmingly vanilla forward body but an opening of fresh citrus fruits. Overall a very nice and a bit more out there expression from compass box and I for one am happy to see that. I am however a bit disappointed they went younger and that they used so much of that highland malt. I'd have rather paid a few more bucks and gotten this one amped up a bit with some darker and older oaked casks. Instead it's this big unique whisky that's also kinda soft and a bit lacking. Packaging - well the box is boring as hell. The bottle art is pretty cool and it's got a GREAT heavy paper feel. Overall below average for compass box on the packaging but it's still nice. Score - wow this is a hard one. It's a really nice and really high quality level of complexity, but it's thin and watery and dull in some areas. It really isn't malt that should be 46%. 48-50 is really where this one was intended to be. It's seriously proofed down and that's not good. The age is not bad but you get some youth and some notes of older stuff. Bottom line it feels like they tried to lower the price with younger whisky vs using younger whisky to get a better whisky. OK so I'm in at a 2.5 which is a bit of a low score I admit. And at 128 this is not a value but it's not a bad one. The problem I keep coming to is that I think they could have made a 3.75 and between lower proof, using some crap highland filler, and not finding the old epic whisky to finish this, they left a great bottle on the table to push out a very ok one. If you like the notes they put out, buy it if you have money to blow. If you love compss box get it. If you don't like either that much, move on. There's nothing special here.
    128.99 USD per Bottle
  2. GlenDronach Parliament 21 Year

    Single Malt — Highlands, Scotland

    Tasted April 18, 2021
    So now that glendronach is basically a toxic mess, i bought perhaps my one and ONLY 21 year. So neck pour sorta and lets get some thoughts. OK so look...cause glendronach is now all about the whisky look. So it's got good color but no density or particles in. So lets call it a 1 star look. Kinda cheap looking if you will. Nose - Over the tears of whisky drinkers moaning the loss of this distillery, lets try and see get into this nose. OK so that PX candy note is here, it's sticky sweet and I honestly don't enjoy that note. It brings out young whisky notes to me and I have to work through them to get past that first impression. As I do I get cinnamon, nutmeg, a bit of coal, hair of smoke, and this might sound weird but just a cleaner like some kinda fresh springs scent. Ok and some maple and brown sugar with some raisins. Taste - This is where this one shines. It's a full on sherry bomb with everything from PX and oloroso. Dark fruits meet chocolate and oak and chewy candies. Lightly salted elements with hints of peat and smoke. The finish is long as hell and lingering. I'll get back into this and add but my god, this is magical whisky. 2020 bottling so about 25 years old. I have to admit this is just great. 4 stars all day and I'm considering 4.25. I'll have to do a 2020 18 to compare. I bought this at US prices to assure myself a 2020 or later bottling and to avoid the new chill filtered rumors. I also am never buying a bottle from these people without non-chill filtered. And frankly, I might never buy a bottle once that's the norm in my market again. Brands need to stand up and do the right thing in this day and age. If some markets don't get it, then spend money to raise awareness. Don't ruin your reputation.
    260.0 USD per Bottle
  3. Kentucky Senator Bourbon

    Bourbon — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted March 27, 2021
    2.75
    2.75 out of 5 stars
    I'm really a fan so far of that 78.5% corn mash bill 15 year distillate and well at 190 this one hurt but didn't require as much lube as most. Nose - I'm just getting good fudge and caramel with some vanilla icing. I'm sure I'm smelling oak but I can't even focus on it over that other note. Taste - So this opens up just sweet, not real distinct notes. There's oak and spice that come in and then we transition to these beam like esters and fruity yeasty elements with some peanut butter hints (more artificial candy peanut butter). Going back I start to pick up some more distinct caramel up front with just a good bourbon character. The oak on this one is very high. And this isn't a BTAC or pappy where the sweet offsets it. No this is powerful, full bodied, likely near CS intense bourbon. This ain't for your starter, it's for someone who's spent years with bourbon and know BOLD flavor from young ethanol. I know it's only 107 proof but this has a kick. I think I liked the lost soul more, but this remains a really nice bourbon. So vs that 12 year rare perfection I just did? Oh yeah, I'm going to likely bottle kill that over priced bottle trying to compare it. Well, it's got a lot in common with this in terms of mouth feel. It's hot and bitter and bites and yes it's big boy bourbon. This however despite being bold it's much more pleasant to drink. Just like the old carter, they are both just nice upfront mouth feels that are warm and creamy and rich. The Rare Perfect turns bitter and sour really fast. Too fast. There's a funk on the Rare Perfection that's not making me happy either. While the Senator is intense and oaky it's well done. All this said great older bourbon isn't this tannic either. The oak elements aren't over oaked in that sense that they hide and hurt the overall flavors (that's what I don't want) but instead make the whiskies both more intense and a bit more challenging to drink. I'm at a 2.75 for this senator. I'm saving room to come back and move this to a 3.0 or 3.25 but for now I think 2.75 is right. Above average and into the very good area but not great and certainly not exceptional. 190 for the bottle? I think this is 120 dollar bourbon all day. I'd be ok paying 150 and would consider buying again down the road. I don't hate it at 190, but I'd not buy it again.
    190.0 USD per Bottle
  4. Rare Perfection Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey Lot #01

    Bourbon — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted March 26, 2021
    2.5
    2.5 out of 5 stars
    More bourbon from what can only be assumed is a group of con-artists, but their con game is strong and it's removed a few bucks from me. So after the god awful over priced st nick 13 and that awful 14 year rye...can rare perfect bourbon change my view of this trash company? Nose - Off the bat there's some pleasant vanilla's and caramels but also on hell of a lot of alcohol. None of the oaky goodness of an ECBP, none of the fruits of a good bartons, no MGP magical rye spices and sweetness, no turkey funk...it's just alcohol and some underlying sweetness. And it's not really that high a proof, they proofed this down (likely a bad decision). It's opening up and giving way to more oak but a very dried and tannic oak, some sweetness is starting to escape. I'm actually somewhat going to old carter batch 5 which smelled nothing of a traditional MGP but this is older and doesn't have any of those light coffee notes. And i'm back to too much alcohol. Corn alcohol is now coming out, a lotta corn. I'm struggling to think of a bourbon to pour next to this to compare it to. Old carter batch 5 it is. OK and there is more richness and sweetness on this. There's more of a lighter chocolate and coffee with some grainy wood while the perfection is deeper sweetness and deep milk chocolate but when you dig deeper and past the sweetness oak and bitter tannins come racing through, biting the nose. Water brings out nutty notes but not say a peanut but more say a chestnut. I can't uncoil this one in my head. Taste - Up front it's that rich sweetness and I'm instantly at full attention for this one. Vanilla and chocolate and caramel. The sweetness gives way for oak, bitter, biting alcohol, and a long very intense but very drying and alcohol forward finish. Water brings out more of the spice but again it isn't try, it's pepper and dang the kentucky hug hit me on this pour. I keep coming back to how much I love the up front sweetness and while I generally like a nice bold finish this one is hitting too hard. The old carter actually does have a similar profile in terms of opening sweet and turning up the spices, but it's much more mellow at first and then spice kick is more pleasant even if I find a lot of flavor notes off putting on the old carter, the start middle and end are actually very well done structurally. There's something so familiar about this whisky, it reminds me of being a new drinker and struggling with the rough edges on cheaper bourbons, but at the same time this has epic levels of sweet bourbon character. Over did the water now to go back and now I'm noticing acidity and almost a battery acid level of it with those spices. I'm starting to pull out the flaws and be more sure of myself that they're here. I'm getting a pretty common bourbon fruity note too but I can't pin point it. Oh you know what, I'm getting flinstone vitamins! I've noticed this on a few kentucky bourbons lately, old medley 12 year!!!! OMG, is this a high proof old medley 12 year? It's not as fruity as that and more tannins and oak but still similar for sure. Overall there's a lot of good stuff here to go with some off notes. There's plenty of complexity. But at the end I feel this was flawed, these weren't special casks, and it falls flat. I'm giving this a 2.5 as the complexity is up there. So 300 bucks...what in the hell? Sorry but this is unacceptable. This has to just stop. If you see more of this stuff from these guys, please just ignore it. This is just scummy marketing through and through from using an old stizel-weller brand name and labeling to their BS pricing.
    299.99 USD per Bottle
  5. Four Gate Batch 11 Ruby Rye Springs

    Rye — Indiana, USA

    Tasted March 25, 2021
    2.5
    2.5 out of 5 stars
    Oh another fun add to distiller. So 7 year MGP rye casks finished 45 days in Ruby Port. These were active casks guys so don't let that 45 days make you think this was a cheap effort. It doesn't at least come off that way and that's what matters. Nose - Slightly vegetable and medicinal with deep fruity elements in the back. Strong spice character. There's bubble gum more rye sweetness but there is an unmistakable ethanol note that isn't going anywhere and reminds you that rye might taste good at 7 years but it isn't yet a refined and well aged expression either. I'm never a huge fan of the way rye's smell and this while no exception is much more aromatic than most rye. Water teases out more vanilla and starts to give me caramel bourbon like notes. The spices tame and the ruby port is left a bit less confused by them. Taste - The flavor is of big bold rye casks with a mix of star anise, pepper, stringing alcohol, vanilla, custard, that rye fruit note I get on every MGP, and then yes the port casks just turn up the sweet MGP rye notes to 11. Similar to the nose water brings down the spice a bit, though there's still a nice kick on the finish and provides a more mellow experience. I'd advocate for less water than I added (which wasn't much) but the every so slightest drop unless a rye punch in the face is your jam. Overall a very nice whisky. 84-85 for me and for this site about a 2.5. If you are a fan of MGP rye and like finishing I think you'll be pleased with this but you'd likely want 25-50 bucks off the msrp.
    199.99 USD per Bottle
  6. Wild Turkey Rare Breed 116.8

    Bourbon — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted March 21, 2021
    1.75
    1.75 out of 5 stars
    Another odd one I never reviewed? OK so I'm not a fan of this but I respect what it is. Nose - alcohol? Yep! There is a legit candy and oak that gives me notes of really old whisky coming off this one. I get grass and clay and ethanol too which tell me younger. Herbal leaves and tea notes too. Overall it's a good nose. Water adds a bit of nutty elements and varnish. Taste - The taste is where it goes from possibly great to just good stuff. Corn, dry corn, ethanol, putty, vanilla, caramel, this eathery funk, and some general nice bourbon notes. Water brings more corn nuts and maybe a bit of salty funk. Here's the thing with this one. It's a good good cheap bourbon but it isn't hitting on what I like. I want fruity notes or sugary notes, or clear notes of something good. This is alcohol and corn in their best ways but not much more. This needs more age or more layers of these elements. I'm giving it a 1.75. Quality through and through but nothing special and frankly I'm not buying it again. I'd rather get an eight and sand at 43 or less% as there's more to it. Even some of the younger old foresters none offical bottles are better. That said if you want a BOLD high proof bourbon I can't say pass on this either. It's good stuff for the price.
    45.0 USD per Bottle
  7. Hazelburn 13 Year Oloroso Cask Matured

    Single Malt — Campbeltown, Scotland

    Tasted March 21, 2021
    4.0
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    2020 edition - 50.3% So I've never reviewed one of these and I have a few. So why not? Well, sherry bombs are tough to review imo and just haven't gone there yet. Nose - It's an interesting nose. A nice springbank under baked cookies and bread with old world european oak notes and light sherry elements. As it opens up the sherry comes out more and more, giving way to these dunnage warehouse elements, dark berries, earthy elements, and just straight up raisins. Taste - That raisen note on the nose gives way to the most intense raisin note on the taste ever perhaps. It's just straight brown sugar and raisins and soaked alcohol rum with sea salt and rich well aged oak elements. This drinks older than 13 years and yet it's vibrant grape juice and raisins and it lasts on the tongue. Yeah I'm a bit confused by the 50.3 as that feels like they watered it down randomly. None the less the fresh sherry is so good on this one. It's a poor man's version of my springbank 19 CS single cask and my god everyone deserves a poor man's version of that at a reasonable price and this is just that. 150 bucks is a big step up from year's past thanks to tariffs but it's completely fair. This is a hitter and one of the best sherry bombs under 200 bucks sold in the US, if not hands down the best one. Buy 3 and know you're getting the best sherry bomb that isn't a single barrel for the money in the US. 4.0 and I might be factoring in value here but I'm doing it anyway. Please note this review is for the 2020 edition, I do think it's better than the other 13 I've had and the 14. But I haven't done a side by side and I don't remember which year the other 13 I had was.
    150.0 USD per Bottle
  8. Kilkerran 12 Year

    Peated Single Malt — Campbeltown, Scotland

    Tasted March 21, 2021
    2.5
    2.5 out of 5 stars
    Can't believe I haven't reviewed this. Nose - the first note is opening a box of wax birthday candles. Next I get what i detect as a light sherry sweetness. I get some hearty grains in here. A good hearty bready malt with a touch of sherry and just a nice rich quality malt character. Taste - Creamy mouth feel and flavor profile. Light oak with sherry and just a wonderful overall complex light salted lightly peated (maybe?) malt. This is wonderful sub 100 dollar whisky but it's just a good whisky. I did the 16 vs the 12 a few nights ago side by side and I took the 12 by a clear but not overwhelming amount. Tonight doing them on after the other it's not closes. The 12 is a better bottle of whisky. I don't want to get crazy so I'm doing a 2.5 for the 12 but I could go higher. The 12 is just a great example of a complex and unique malt that's been put together in great casks. It's no world beater and it's expensive here, but good work guys.
    80.0 USD per Bottle
  9. Kilkerran 16 Year

    Peated Single Malt — Campbeltown, Scotland

    Tasted March 21, 2021
    2.0
    2.0 out of 5 stars
    Another of these bottles I've been saving to review and I guess I'll just do it. Also I never reviewed the 12? WTF? I'll have to fix that too. Nose - I get a glue like note with sharp sour and then some alcohol soaked apple, barely off the still (really 16 years?), a touch of perhaps a white wine note, and some yeast esters. It's a sweet, not overly oaked or even slightly cask forward expression, these better not have been first fill bourbon casks, if they were they originally had some YOUNG bourbon. Taste - A general sweetness with some ever so light peat, salt, and just a buttery vanilla slightly funky and off distillate. There's not really here guys. It's got some milk going slight bad notes, some cheese (white curds if you will) and funk. Now all this like sounds worse than it is. It isn't a bad whisky. It's just not good either. Every time I go back to this it disappoints me more and this is the most disappointing pour yet. I'm scoring it a 2.0 and I'm going to do the 12 next. If the 12 scores under a 2.5, I'm admitting I'm done for the night as to be honest I thought this would be 2.25 with me debating a 2.5 but not going there coming in. But I've had this next to all the whiskies I've had tonight on different tastings as well as by itself and nothing as really changed the overall final note of this isn't worth 140 bucks and it isn't better than the 12.
    140.0 USD per Bottle
  10. Springbank 12 Year Cask Strength

    Peated Single Malt — Campbeltown, Scotland

    Tasted March 21, 2021
    2.5
    2.5 out of 5 stars
    Batch 21 56.1, yes this is the new CRAZY one. I should create a new one but I have to use the ap and I hate the ap. Nose - so I'm getting a coffee cake with savory cream cheese on it. Then smoke and oak followed by rich intense gritty sweetness. Almost a reduction sauce meets a cooking wine with bread hearty savory full grain bread baking in the background. This is absolutely nothing like the first springbank 12 I had nor is it that similar to the 57.1 which I will say the likely first fill bourbon casks on that did a lot. Taste - The taste brings me back to springbank with the salty and savory notes coming out, but it's different. The wine is huge here but while the burgundy wood i found rich and earthy and meaty, this isn't that. It's sweet, very sweet. It's like the sherry casks were super sweet, the port enhanced it to ll and the burgondy just kinda added some new notes but let the sweetness keep going. These weren't even tired bourbon casks to add oak without vanilla, as there's vanilla here. The odd part is that it then hits with some spice and alcohol kick that wasn't expected or really wanted. The alcohol feels almost drying to the point the overall rich and creamy body comes off too drying and closes what should have been a really nice mouth feel. I keep going back to this and I keep coming to the same conclusion, this isn't a good springbank 12. It not bad either but if you're chasing that classic 12 profile this has gone a weird direction and one I hope they don't do again. I bought 2 and I'm ok with it. But yeah, A for effort but C- for execution. 2.50 which feels criminal for a springbank 12 but I have to be honest with you guys. The sweetness could work without the spice and alcohol notes. And trust me water isn't the solution either. Did one last sip and it come off a bit more traditional sherry with port and less spicy but then I was able to really notice the lack of finish or depth. A complex whisky that is just too disjointed and frankly just falls flat. I think springbank tried to add too many casks to what is still a relatively young whisky. This kind of blending is best saved for the older expressions where perhaps some secondary casks or active casks can wakeup a tired cask with age. Not for younger casks.
    120.0 USD per Bottle
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